"The 25th Reich" was no groundbreaking blessing to the world of cinema, no doubt about it. But this movie is actually so far out there and so cheesy that it was fun to watch.
The story is about a group of American soldiers who are sent into the Australian wilderness to track down and capture (or kill, if necessary) two escaped pumas that serve as troop mascots. Carrying with them, they have a strange apparatus that is to lure in these giant felines. Once the apparatus is turned on, the soldiers find themselves transported 50.000 years back into the future, where they learn about the true plan of the mission; to find and secure a crashed UFO to use against Hitler's forces back in 1943.
Right, well this was weird enough, wasn't it? But it gets better. But before you read on, I should point out that story spoilers are about to follow.
With the apparatus shot to pieces by an undercover Nazi soldier, the Americans are stuck in the past. But through the use of alien telepathy, they manage to fix the apparatus and get it working, sending them back into the future. However, they are 300 years off target and end up in 2243, where they find out that the Nazis have won World War II (most likely with the use of the recovered UFO) and have conquered the world, building a massive army of UFOs. Apparently humans are obsolete, and the Nazis are now huge spider-like machines.
Storywise, then "The 25th Reich" is definitely one of the most campy and cheesy stories I have witnessed. It just screamed B-movie all over. But it was done so well and so goofy that the movie was actually fun and worth watching.
I will say that the robotic spider-like Nazis were actually quite cool and were made very well, where as the rest of the CGI in the movie could have been better.
One of the things that really had me cracked up was when they returned back to the future, but missing by 300 years, and returned to the exact location where they had first gone back 50.000 years. The army jeep that they had left there was still in pristine condition, without any rust, decay or damage after having sat 300 years out in the Australian wilderness. It was just hilarious.
The characters in the movie were quite out there as well, as they were rather caricatured in extreme ways. But these overly done quirks were actually helping along the movie, because it added flavor to the characters. And the people hired to play these characters were doing good jobs, even though they had one outrageous storyline and script to work with.
And as if giant robotic spider-like Nazis weren't enough, then there is also a massive swarm of huge mosquitoes, because we all know that the world was infested by mosquitoes the size of small dogs 50.000 years ago - evolution just made them smaller and more annoying.
Topping it off, that would have to be the anal probing scene. Yeah, there were such a scene in the movie too. A soldier getting probed by a giant robotic spider-like Nazi, whilst it is actually doing humping motions. That just had be laughing so hard that I almost spilled my drink.
"The 25th Reich" is good entertainment if you enjoy campy, goofy and cheesy movies where nothing is barred. This movie is outrageous in concept, idea and execution.--------------------------------------------------------------------demelewis --------------------------------------------------------------------It's difficult to know what the film-makers were trying to achieve here. One minute it wants to be a serious low-budget sci-fi, next an homage to 50's B movies, next it's a parody, then a comedy, etc. And the trouble is, you get the impression that if it would have stuck to one of those genres, it wouldn't have been half bad.
Because ironically enough, there is actually some good acting on show here from most of the cast, in spite of the vast majority of the them being slightly too old for their various roles, and the lack of a clearly defined tone for the movie. This is notwithstanding Jak Wyld's appalling attempt at a 'good old boy southern US drawl' for the character of Cpl Updike, which continuously lapses into his native Australian, detracting terribly from any semblance of the suspension of belief one manages to muster, particularly given the way it flips from genre-to-genre. Clearly Wyld can act, but he quite clearly can't do a consistent Yank accent, which makes one think that a few additional takes might have yielded a better result; something the director should perhaps have considered, instead of rushing to get it in the can, which certainly only adds to the problems this movie has.
Similarly, there is decent camera-work and art direction on show for the many scenes, much of it referencing well-known war movies in a clever way if you are familiar with them, but then we come to the not-quite-so-special, special effects, which only serve to jar terribly with the good camera work. It's tempting to imagine that these effects are intended to be self-referentially bad as an homage to the 1950's era B-movies which the 25th Reich is obviously attempting to channel, but the trouble is, they are neither cheesy enough, nor convincing enough as to be either an in-joke or a serious attempt at persuading us of either intent.
In fairness, one or two effects are pretty good. Similarly one or two are cheesy enough to almost convince us it was a deliberate attempt to 'do a Plan 9 from Outer Space', but the majority fall firmly between these two stools and the end result is that it just looks like bad film-making.
As if these gripes were not enough of a problem, some scenes are appalling misjudged, notably one which was obviously intended to be an (ill-advised) humorous reference to the rape-scene in the movie Deliverance, but instead (of course) ends up being simply in very bad taste indeed. Not to mention the fact that it sticks out like a sore thumb as far as the rest of the movie's tone is concerned, especially when the movie is already having problems in this area.
Comparisons with Iron Sky - largely because of the Nazi 'what if?' subject material - will doubtless be drawn, however, where Iron Sky succeeds massively in hitting its target, the 25th Reich is a film which attempts to mash up a few genres and ends up doing a disservice to all of them. There are flashes of genuine talent here from the director and indeed some of the cast and production crew, which leads one to imagine that we might expect great things from some of those involved in this thing, but this movie isn't one of them.
Review by Paul Magne Haakonsen from the Internet Movie Database.